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TEN TOPICS ON MT. GRETNA TONGUES THIS WINTER

Nobody asked us to come up with the Top 10 topics buzzing around Mt. Gretna in midwinter. But in a season when news, people and things to write about grow scarce, we thought up a list all by ourselves:

Topic No. 1: Where’s the snow this winter? Mother Nature answered that one last weekend, with a thud. Photographer Dale Grundon recorded it all at http://dalesdelights.com. Bill Care and Co. were out shortly before 3 a.m., scooping up the 9-inch snow with their usual aplomb. And people from surrounding towns drove out Sunday morning to catch brunch at Le Sorelle Café, and also to enjoy the beauty of 37 million snow-draped tree branches glistening in the sun.

Topic No. 2: When’s the store going to reopen? As we reported last week, the building’s owners cleared their biggest hurdle Jan. 24 when zoning officials approved a variance governing parking for what will soon be transformed into an Italian restaurant. Opening dates, hours and exactly what restaurant operators Damian and Mariano Acquino will offer are still unknown. But things are moving along. Yesterday morning, hammers began pounding—and saws humming—in the 80-year-old building. And windows formerly covered with newspapers are once again. . . clear!

Topic No. 3: What’s happening in Mt. Gretna’s real estate market? “Steady as she goes,” with good demand and continuing price increases, says realtor Fred Schafer. He reports sales of 31 homes here last year, with prices ranging from $111,700 to $375,000. In 2004, 37 homes from $95,900 to $352,750 changed hands. (Coincidentally, 37 is the average for Mt. Gretna, with 222 property transfers recorded over the past six years.) Fred says most people buy homes and cottages because they like living here, not because they’re speculating in real estate and hoping for huge gains. The area continues to attract second-home buyers from Philadelphia and Washington, DC. And “Gretna charm,” says Fred, remains a powerful lure.

Topic No. 4: What’s happening at the Mt. Gretna Design Center? Lots of activity. Final inspections should soon allow occupancy. And more optimism than we’ve seen in a long time from John Mitchell, who launched the venture about four years ago. John’s not saying much, but, with any luck, Mt. Gretnans may soon once again have a place to buy out-of-town newspapers and other daily essentials.

Topic No. 5: Are they really planning to repave Rte. 117? Yes, one way or the other, construction will likely begin in the spring of 2008. Will it be a scenic byway, with federal funding? Maybe. It all depends on whether folks here like the idea. Planners are briefing local officials this month and next. If everybody agrees that a scenic byway is what we want, chances are good that a scenic byway is what we’ll get. But we’re hearing concerns about increased traffic exacerbating the parking shortage, safety hazards and the disruptive effects of summertime construction (especially if PennDOT’s core-borings determine they must tackle the costly, time-consuming task of digging up an underlying cement highway that Army engineers laid down for military vehicles during Mt. Gretna’s encampment days.)
Topic No. 6: Will we ever be able to use anything other than a Verizon cell phone in Mt. Gretna? Yes, but the outlook isn’t great for people with T-Mobile, Cingular or Nextel phones. True, Sprint is piggybacking their antenna to the Verizon tower along Mine Road. But nobody else is. Yet. And Sprint’s merger with Nextel doesn’t mean anything for Nextel users here. The two companies use different technologies. And there are other complications. So insiders on both sides of this latest merger among cellular giants tell us that combined services are still a long way off. Best bet for now: Verizon.

Topic No. 7: What can I do to help the Audubon Quartet, the musical group whose link to Mt. Gretna extends nearly half a lifetime (and whose recent legal setback sent shock waves through the world of classical music)? People are organizing rescue efforts. See Questions Readers Ask, this issue.

Topic No. 8: Where are all the turkey vultures this winter? Still hanging around, a few of them at least. But nothing close to the flocks of six years ago when 500 or more swarmed into town. Volunteers continue to keep up a nightly vigil, using everything from strobe lights to aerial explosives (bird-bangers) in a coordinated effort to encourage the long-lived birds—with equally long memories of cherished roosts—to move elsewhere.

Topic No. 9: What’s the outlook for Gretna Theater, which--like theaters across the country, movies and even TV—has seen shrinking audiences, rising costs, and competition from everything from DVDs to rock concerts? There’s renewed vigor in one of Mt. Gretna’s oldest traditions. A new board is at work this year—one that’s loaded with the business, financial and management skills needed to chart a course through choppy waters. (See Theater Board Adds Skills, Experience, Financial Acumen, this issue)

Topic No. 10: Did I see speed checks, using honest-to-goodness chase cars, in Mt. Gretna several times last week? Indeed you did. Cornwall Borough police say they’ve received complaints about trucks, cars and motorcycles speeding through town along Rte. 117, especially during mornings and late afternoons. “We’ll continue to conduct those checks at unannounced times and places,” says Chief Bruce Harris.

Bonus Topic No. 11: When’s Grundonmobile Day this year? This question is on the tip of everyone’s tongue nowadays. What’s a Grundonmobile? It’s the bright yellow three-wheeled scooter that photographer, stained glass artist and raconteur Dale Grundon rides around town each summer. Last winter, following years of errant predictions from Punxsutawney Phil, Max Hunsicker decided to hold Grundonmobile Day. The test: If Dale’s Grundonmobile could sit beneath Mt. Gretna’s towering pines for a full day without been pooped upon by turkey vultures, winter’s end was nigh. But if the Grundonmobile got splattered. . . well, the groundhog was probably right in the first place. In a special Online bonus attachment, Max explains—as only Max can—why Grundonmobile Day will be a little late this year. See http://dalesdelights.com or http://mtgretna.com/news

TEN TUESDAYS. . . AT TEN

What’s the most popular event on Mt. Gretna’s summer schedule? To the surprise of many, few weekday attractions top those “Tuesday at Ten” book reviews by Lebanon Valley College Profs at the Chautauqua Community Building. Sometimes, it’s standing room only.

Programs actually start around 9:45 a.m. with the dependable 3C formula (coffee, cookies, and conversation) that’s attracted Hall of Philosophy crowds for more than a century. Then at 10, the series begins, with people like former Lebanon Valley College history professor (and Valley Road resident) Howard Applegate discussing Alan Alda’s Never Have Your Dog Stuffed. That review, on Aug. 1, is one of 10 on this summer’s schedule.

Others include Jim Wallis’ God’s Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It (June 20, with LVC religion professor Jeffrey Robbins); Adam Nicholson’s Seize the Fire: Heroism, Duty and The Battle of Trafalgar (June 27, professor of English Kevin Pry); Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Slow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience (July 11, psychology professor Heather Mitchell); Frank McCourt’s Teacher Man (July 18, John Heffner, philosophy professor emeritus); Donna Leon’s Blood From A Stone (July 25, Diane Iglesias, professor of Spanish); Sarah Hrdy’s Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species (Aug. 8, Kerrie Laguna, psychology professor), P. W. Singer’s Children at War (Aug. 15, Diane Johnson, political science professor), Sam Harris’ The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason (Aug. 22, Gary Grieve-Carlson, professor of English); and Walter Isaacson’s Benjamin Franklin (Mark Mecham, professor of music). The Tuesday series will, of course, not be held on July 4.

SUMMER JOBS IN MT. GRETNA: THE STUFF MEMORIES ARE MADE OF

Whenever you talk to adults who spent summers growing up in Mt. Gretna, a common theme emerges. Looking back, they’ll tell you that many of their best friends, happiest times, and most pleasurable memories came from working at the lake, the Jigger Shop, and similar spots around town.

They’ll also acknowledge that, in terms of value that lasts, memories mean more than money. So it’s not surprising that savvy parents and grandparents at this time of year are urging youngsters to apply now—well before the season starts.

We mentioned last month those much-sought-after jobs at the Jigger Shop, which is now accepting applications (964-3704). Most Jigger Shop openings are filled shortly after Easter.

Across the lake, summer job opportunities abound as well. Manager Phil Schneider says they typically hire 40 to 50 student-age employees each season. Details appear on the website www.mtgretnalake.com.

But summer jobs aren’t just for youngsters. Phil says Mt. Gretna Lake & Beach is looking for a refreshment stand/food supervisor, which is a full-time summer position for an experienced person able to handle inventories, order food and supplies for the refreshment stand as well as group picnics. “It’s an ideal local work opportunity for an experienced adult,” he says.

Another good spot – especially for someone who’s retired, says Phil—is at the miniature golf course. Retirees find the work enjoyable – collecting money, handing out clubs, and sharing duties with other retirees who collaborate to work out their own weekly schedules. Phil says they also enjoy chatting with customers—many of whom are also grandparents, out enjoying an afternoon of golf with grandchildren while parents are at work. See details at: www.mtgretnalake.com

IN BRIEF (45 words or less)

[] Muhlenburg Avenue’s reconstruction project starts this month--adding water mains, storm drainage, sandstone curbing and possibly streetlights like those in Mt. Gretna’s park areas. Crews will complete as much as they can before suspending operations for the summer. They’ll add final resurfacing touches this fall.
[] Governor Dick Park re-opens Apr. 1 with Pennsylvania Senator (and area resident) David Brightbill dedicating the Nature Center at 10 a.m. An open house continues until 4 p.m. The park is also adding names to its free newsletter subscriber list (send requests to governordick@hotmail.com).
[] Mt. Gretna snowbirds yearning for glimpses of what the weather’s like back home may not have a Gretnacam, but WGAL-TV just added a Lebanoncam to their lineup. The view, facing east, shows Willow Street, with Lebanon’s library at lower left. The direct link: http://www.wgal.com/wxcam/1796367/detail.html
[] Melissa Schneider (daughter of Mt. Gretna Lake’s Phil and Debbie Schneider), who appeared in Gretna Theater’s Gaslight production last summer, has added another credit. She just wrapped filming a part as a photographer's assistant on The Sopranos, scheduled to air on HBO in May.
[] Another Road Rally starting from Mt. Gretna is set for Father’s Day, June 17. Last year, about 80 sports cars, drivers and navigators took part in the fundraiser for Lebanon’s Bridge of Hope (389-0296), benefiting homeless mothers. To become a business sponsor, e-mail: lebanonbridgeofhope@comcast.net.
[] Want to show our firefighters how much they mean to you? They need volunteers to look after the fire hall’s flower beds this summer. Call Karen Lynch (964-3505).
[] Nicole Curran (Mozart’s wife in Gretna Theater’s 2004 Amadeus) is a “recurring waitress” on As the World Turns. “Mostly it’s a background spot, but I got to speak . . . once!" Says Nicole: "Funny how it’s such an achievement to actually say under five lines.”
[] Ceylon and Karen Leitzel invite suggestions for a winery that might provide wine-tasting and wine sales at this year’s Big Band Beach Party at the lake. Last year’s choice, Benigna’s Creek, may not be able to return for the Aug. 26 event.
[] Cleveland International Piano Competition winner Chu-Fang Huang comes to Gretna Music’s winter series at Elizabethtown College Feb. 25. As part of this “Make a Night of It in Elizabethtown” event, a buffet dinner and “Classical Conversation” with the soloist precede the concert. Reservations: (717) 361-1508.

THEATER BOARD ADDS SKILLS, EXPERIENCE, FINANCIAL ACUMEN

Gretna Theater has given a powerful boost to its financial, management and marketing resources with the addition of four new members to its board of directors. The added strengths come at a pivotal time, as outdoor theaters everywhere confront shrinking attendance, rising costs and growing competition.

Named president of the group is J. Thomas Dunlevy, executive vice president of GlenMede Trust, a Philadelphia area wealth-management firm. He succeeds Nancy Adams Besch, who will continue to serve on the executive committee with longtime supporter and board member Dr. David Bronstein. All three are Mt. Gretna summer residents.

New appointments to the 14-member board include: Commerce Bank regional manager Frank Fischer, Jr. of Harrisburg, who will serve as treasurer and head the finance committee; financial advisor Mark Z. Greenberg of Camp Hill, who will also serve on the finance committee; Camp Hill resident Barclay Fitzpatrick, community affairs VP for Capital BlueCross, who will chair Gretna Theater’s marketing committee; and Pennsylvania Retailers Association president Brian Rider, who will chair the production company’s development committee. Continuing board members include: former Armstrong World Industries executive Jack Hughlett of Lancaster; Lebanon manufacturer Douglass C. Henry, Jr.; Wendie DiMatteo Holsinger, president of Palmyra-based ASK Foods; and Patricia F. Hottenstein, a year-round Mt. Gretna resident and former financial consultant. All will serve on the theater’s development committee.
Also returning are Lancaster-based attorney Gene P. Otto, a marketing committee member; Harrisburg attorney Gerald Robinson, who serves on the finance committee; and Todd Whitmer, who heads a Havre de Grace, Md. drug and alcohol treatment center for adults and will serve on Gretna Theater’s marketing committee.

COMING IN JULY: A ‘VERY DIFFERENT’ ORGAN RECITAL SERIES
Market Square Presbyterian Church organist Dr. Pierce Getz, who launched Mt. Gretna’s organ recital series ten years ago, returns July 6 to open the first of this season’s performances.
Others on tap for these popular concerts at the Princeton Ave. home of Walter McAnney and Peter Hewitt include: (for a special July 13 performance by six Mt. Gretna organists) 13-year old Ryan A. Brunkhurst; G. Edwin Dunlap of Manheim’s Hope Episcopal Church; Janet Jermon of Lebanon Valley Bible Church; Michael Murray, executive director of Gretna Music; Constance Steinke, organist at Cornwall’s United Methodist; and Walter McAnney himself (organist at Philadelphia’s Calvary Memorial Church.)
Also appearing in the summer series are Princeton University Chapel organist Eric Plutz (July 20), and Dickinson College organist and harpsichordist Shirley King (July 27). Adds Peter, “Shirley plays up a storm and is charming, to boot. We’re going to have an exciting and very different season.”
Admission is free, donations are welcomed, but space is limited so reservations are a must (964-1830, ext. 3). Performances begin at 7 p.m.
NUMBERS

5th Anniversary of the Heights' Community Building’s robust "bounce back to life" as a vibrant center for wedding receptions, classes, parties and family reunions. With room for 100 persons, a fully equipped kitchen, pavilion, playground and parking, the building (which underwent extensive renovations in 2001) now is filling up its 2006 schedule. Coordinator Richard Steinhauer (964-2362) says five dates already are taken, but his reservation book still has plenty of openings (52 spring/summer/fall weekend dates as of last week).

90 Number of signs along the 0.9-mile stretch of Rte. 117 from Butler Road to Lakeview Drive. They include 54 state and municipal signs: ten speed limit signs, nine “No Parking” signs, 12 street signs plus a bevy of warning signs about slippery roadways, emergency vehicle entrances, truck weight limits, RV prohibitions, and similar notices. Also, about 20 signs for restaurants, business offices, Philhaven Hospital, church gatherings, recreational sites, and lodging.
Not all the signs are permanent. On the day our reporter checked, 11 temporary real estate sale signs dotted the highway.
Are we Mt. Gretnans becoming “sign-happy”? Some folks think so. At a recent Borough council meeting, one couple cited 66 signs within three blocks of Harvard Avenue. (Some have now been removed.)
And people returning from vacations at pristine spots around the globe often comment on Pennsylvania’s tangle of signs, wires, and utility poles that somehow they never noticed before. Clutter, it seems, treads lightly, often in small increments and slips in almost unnoticed. But in its overall impact, it amplifies Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s observation, “For the most part, we, who could choose simplicity, choose complication.”

300 Pancakes that Mt. Gretnans typically devour whenever the fire company holds one of its famous Sunday morning breakfast fund-raisers. The next one comes up Mar. 26, from 8 a.m. to 12 noon. It also comes with sausage, potatoes, an egg dish, pastries and beverages. The cost? Whatever you care to give. Now who, pray tell, offers a better deal than that? And where, Pray Tell II, can people living in a village with cottages made mostly of wood make a better investment of their time, money and support?

QUESTIONS READERS ASK

[] There doesn’t seem to be any signs pointing out that a person has entered Mt. Gretna. This struck me as I was driving home the other day through the Village of Lawn. At the entrance, an iron sign tells the name of town and its former name. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could install several high-quality, rustic signs that could be placed on Rte. 117 and Pinch Road so people would know they’ve arrived here?
<> This idea gets a mixed reaction among those we queried. Several people liked it. But others felt that visitors already are overwhelmed by signs (See Numbers, this issue.) And still others cited the multiple “entities” involved. . . reminiscent of Dorothy Parker’s description of Los Angeles: “100 suburbs in search of a city.” (Mt. Gretna’s too tiny to have suburbs, of course. So it’s more like seven neighborhoods [Timber Bridge, Timber Hills, Conewago Hills, Chautauqua, Campmeeting, Mt. Gretna Heights and Stoverdale] in search of a town.)
Where one would put such a sign? Where does Mt. Gretna start, and where does it end? Maybe it's better to leave things just as they are. The late Marlin Seiders (see below) was right. "Mt. Gretna isn’t a place—it’s a spirit." And you can’t put a sign on a spirit.
[] Wouldn’t it be great if we could have a warm wintertime place for arts and crafts classes for both year-round residents and visitors? I’d love to continue stained glass classes or perhaps just meet with others who enjoy arts or crafts during the winter. It could also be a place for card clubs to continue. Does something already exist, or perhaps may be “in the works?”

<> Chautauqua’s summer program planners have discussed this idea, and it’s one they continue to consider, says co-coordinator Kathy Snavely. Her counterpart, Jack Anderson, adds that although their committee hasn’t yet been directed to extend the summer offerings, “I can understand how the increasingly year-round population of Mt. Gretna might be interested in such activities.”
Meanwhile, as we reported last month, some year-rounders offer programs of their own. Mixed-media artist Shelby Applegate (964-2342) invites everyone interested in card games to come to her Valley Road home and studio for occasional games of Bridge, Hearts and Scrabble. Barb Fishman (964-3332) offers watercolor classes year-round. And the question inspires a feature story we’ll likely run next fall: “Things Mt. Gretnans Can Do to Keep Busy in the Next Six Months.”

[] How much salt does Mt. Gretna use on the roads in a typical winter?

<> About 150 tons in an “average” winter, says Bill Care, who with Joey Wise and Scott Cooling, was out plowing the streets last Sunday, starting their tasks shortly before 3 a.m. and continuing throughout most of the morning. Bill, Scott and Joey usually run their three plows simultaneously, not just in Mt. Gretna Borough (Chautauqua area), but also in the Campmeeting, Timber Hills, Conewago Hills, and Timber Bridge. West Cornwall Township’s George Dundore is responsible for the streets in Mt. Gretna Heights and Stoverdale.
How much salt does a typical storm require? About 10 to 15 tons, yet heavy snowfalls, surprisingly, don’t need as much salt as small ice storms. “When it’s deep, we stop salting everything except the hills and just plow. But ice storms need up to 20 or 30 tons of salt per storm,” he says.
Only once in recent years has Mt. Gretna exhausted its 200-ton supply. That was in 2003, and Bill quickly ordered more. But the following year, after the last snowflake had fallen, 100 tons of salt were left over.

[] I read the New York Times article (“How Audubon Musicians Kept Their Instruments,” Feb. 7, 2006) about the Audubon Quartet, a Gretna Music favorite for more than a quarter century. I understand that they lost their home and most of their possessions in a precedent-setting lawsuit by a former quartet member. Do you know how to contact the performers so I could convey my best wishes and perhaps help financially?
<> We’ll be happy to put readers in touch with those trying to find ways to help cellist Tom Shaw, violist Doris Lederer and second violinist Akemi Takayama. Meanwhile, those wishing to contact Tom directly may do so at tomshaw@adelphia.net.
According to the Times, the lawsuit resulted in a $610,000 settlement that claimed most of the group’s possessions. Their instruments -- a 1915 Ferruccio Varagnolo viola, an 1887 Eugenio Degani cello and an 1860 bow by Nicolaus Kittel—were released from settlement claims following a $200,000 payment made by Bethlehem, Pa. investor Daniel Braden, who often buys instruments when musicians can’t afford them. His agreement calls for the Audubon to use those instruments for 10 years. During that period, they have the option of buying them back at an undisclosed price. “I want to make it very clear, I’m not a donor,” Braden told the Times.
The Audubon Quartet will return to Mt. Gretna Sep. 3 to close out Gretna Music’s summer season.

Jackson H. Shelly, 1926-2006

Jack Shelly, 80, for whom Mt. Gretna was a favorite spot until he and wife Emily gave up their summer home at 7 Muhlenberg Ave. three years ago and moved to Virginia Beach, Va., died Feb. 8. A native of Manheim, Pa. and a World War II veteran, he enjoyed golf, telling humorous stories, and countless Mt. Gretna summer evenings sitting out on the porch with friends. His first wife, Violet, and a son, Elliott, preceded him in death. He is survived by Emily, a son and daughter, two sisters and several grandchildren. An obituary in the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot notes that Jack donated his body to science. Emily’s address is
985 Fleet Drive, Apt 266, Virginia Beach, VA 23454

Captain Marlin D. Seiders, 1927-2006

Former Mt. Gretna United Methodist Church minister and Navy chaplain Marlin Seiders, 79, died Feb. 1 at Cornwall Manor. Ordained at age 22, he had a distinguished military career which included service in the Korean and Vietnam wars. A destroyer squadron chaplain, he also worked with the U.S. Marines and Naval Aviation, closing out his military achievements as a hospital caregiver with the Navy’s Surgeon General. He and his late wife Nancy then returned to Mt. Gretna. For the next 15 years, he was assistant pastor at Lebanon’s United Methodist Church. A Lebanon Daily News obituary notes he often called others “’my good friend’ and never ate a meal which wasn’t ‘the best ever’.” Our favorite Marlin Seiders quote, cited elsewhere in this issue: “Mt. Gretna isn’t a place--it’s a spirit.”

Kindest regards,

Roger Groce

P.S. Our thanks to the five or six dozen people who help us shape this newsletter each month, including a 14-year-old grandson known to his friends as “Bruce McMoose.” We welcome contributions from one and all, for it’s all part of the fun of keeping in touch with what’s going on Mt. Gretna’s always magnificent, often magical, world. Please continue to forward copies to friends and relatives. Please continue to send us your news, questions and divine inspirations whenever they strike. And remember, thanks to the folks at Gretna Computing, you can always recover back issues of The Mt. Gretna Newsletter at http://mtgretna.com/news. (That’s also where you’ll find Max Grundon’s delightful Grundonmobile Day Bonus [see below]. . . and at http://dalesdelights.com)


Bonus: A “Grundonmobile Day” Special
for Online Readers ONLY


Why Grundonmobile Day Will be a Little Late this Year

Editor’s Note: To answer a question that’s on the tip of everyone’s tongue these days—when’s Grundonmobile Day this year?—we hunted down Max Hunsicker.
Max, as you know, is the thinker-upper who concocted Grundonmobile Day in the first place (in 2005). The idea, in this technological era, was to find a more accurate forecast for the end of winter. Groundhogs simply don’t cut it any more. We needed something more modern. And Dale Grundon’s bright yellow Grundonmobile (which in a former life putted around New York allowing Manhattan meter maids to deposit parking tickets) seemed just the right touch. Could the Grundonmobile manage to go a full day under Mt. Gretna’s lofty pines without getting splattered by turkey buzzards? If so, winter’s end was close at hand. If not, well, the groundhog was probably right in the first place. Here’s the latest chapter in what we fear will become a deeply rooted Mt. Gretna tradition.


Dear Editor,

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE ask the readership to stop inundating me with requests for information about this year’s Grundonmobile Day celebration. The volume of e-mail has clogged my inbox and my ISP provider is threatening to drop me as a client!

As you and your readers know, Grundonmobile Day has an unparalleled record of success in predicting the onset of spring, having never been wrong in lo these many years of prophesy. (Editor’s Note: One.) Events beyond our control have unfortunately demanded that we reschedule the event (See attached auditor’s report). Readers will no doubt recall that last year’s fundraising campaign established a record for the Grundonmobile Society, thanks to a $5.01 donation given in memory of John Snavely Briody by his family. Although the donation was invested carefully, it appears the volatility of the market has not been kind to the Society. Also, the local police department says that they cannot continue to provide us with crowd control without remuneration. Last year’s crowd, you will recall, numbered in the multiple digits. (Editor’s Note: Two?)

Therefore, the Board of Directors of the Most Secret and Benevolent Lodge of the Loyal Order of the Grundonmobile Society has decided to postpone this year’s gala. The Board held a “brainstorming” session, where numerous “diverse” “opinions” were “advanced”. With the nectar of the “hops and barley” providing lubrication for the “squeaking wheels” of imagination, the Board voted “unanimously” to stop using “quotation marks” to such wretched excess and agreed to modify the traditional Grundonmobile Day ceremony as follows:

1. Although we can claim a 100% accuracy rate in predicting the end of winter, the Board feels there may be a time when our prediction “method” (OOPS! Strike the forbidden quotation marks!) could fail to predict the end of winter correctly. A great deal of debate (and a significant quantity of nectar of the hops and barley) resulted in the decision to move Grundonmobile Day to April or May (or whenever it fits our schedule).

2. Although the traditional ceremony, fraught with pomp and circumstances beyond our control, has always been a crowd pleaser, the Board feels some components of the festivities have begun to show their age, unlike me---I’ve been told I look younger than ever. If you don’t believe me, call the Pennsylvania Glaucoma Foundation and ask to speak to their 9:00 AM pre-op class who voted me “Mr. Puberty” (Blast! There go those quotation marks again!)

3. The Board next voted unanimously to stop using parentheses.

4. The celebration this year will take place on a date to be announced, most likely too late for you to attend, and will be titled: “The Running of the Grundons”. We expect the ceremony will involve the Grundonmobile caroming down various and sundry narrow Mt. Gretna streets, as residents attempt to avoid being “gored” by the Texas Longhorn Steer horns (which we will have mounted on the front of the Grundonmobile). Incidentally, you parents out there may want to see if your kids can pick out the two punctuation violations in the previous sentence. If your kid finds them, have him tested for Mensa.

5. Residents wishing to participate in the Running of the Grundons should contact the Exalted Grand High Pooh-Bah of the Most Secret and Benevolent Lodge of the Loyal Order of the Grundonmobile Society. It may be necessary to provide medical disclaimers to prevent lawsuits should the Grundonmobile accidentally wing you. Alternatively, you may choose to run a portion of the course that is uphill, decreasing the likelihood the G-mobile will be able to catch you and snap an ankle or coccyx, or maybe squish your uvula or pulverize your spleen or something bad like that.

6. A detailed report of the inaugural Running of the Grundons will be published at some point, after the Exalted Grand High Pooh-Bah of the Most Secret and Benevolent Lodge of the Loyal Order of the Grundonmobile Society has had time to think it up.

FINANCIAL STATEMENT

Income
2/24/05 Donation in memory of John Snavely Briody from his family $5.01

Investments
2/25/05 $5.01 and an additional $20 or maybe $30 invested in Michelob Light or Miller Lite or some kind of light beer beverages, on the assumption they would increase in value. NOTE TO SELF: Poor tactic---apparently these beverages do not increase in value once they have been consumed, and should probably NOT be listed as investments. 2nd NOTE TO SELF: Check on 501K.

2/26/05 Repeated error in judgment of 2/25 – another poor investment
2/27/05 Repeated error in judgment of 2/26 – another poor investment
2/28/05 Repeated error in judgment of 2/27 – another poor investment
2/29/05 Repeated error in judgment of 2/28 – another poor investment

AUDITOR’S NOTE: These entries continue up to today’s date, and are expected to continue well in to the future, as the Exalted Grand High Pooh-Bah of the Most Secret and Benevolent Lodge of the Loyal Order of the Grundonmobile Society appears to have no financial acumen. Prognosis: not good.

Account Balance
2/10/06 -$5,273.45

AUDITOR’S SECOND NOTE: Attempts by the Grand Pooh-Bah to collect interest on the account failed since financial institutions do not commonly pay interest on negative balances.

.